This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: August 15 – 21st

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

The Voyager Interstellar Record – The Sounds of Earth

Access the record’s complete playlist here.

(Thank you to my son for finding it and bringing it to my attention.)

This week, I’m most excited about:

stranger-things

~THE MOVIES~

NEW NETFLIX & REDBOX:

Stranger Things (2016) Netflix Original Series 

Not yet Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
Based on what I’ve seen in your Facebook feeds, most of you have already discovered this little gem. I still need to watch the last episode or two, but I love it, of course. It’s especially charming for those of us who grew up (as nerds) in the late 70s / early 80s. I’ve received several messages from junior high school friends asking if it looked familiar. (The actual time setting, btw, is 1983.) So far I think the appeal is mostly in the nostalgia, because the story is a little on the thin side for me. Still, well worth a watch.

After her young son inexplicably vanishes, Joyce joins an intensive but fruitless search for him. As the mystery deepens, Joyce begins to suspect that supernatural forces may be involved in the boy’s disappearance. Winona Rider.
Description from Netflix.

The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) British Documentary 

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Not On IMDb.
I’ve added this to my queue, but it’s clear from the reviews that it doesn’t really have anything to do with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Working on a tip, police start to unravel the case of a British former mental patient who hoarded guns and have links to a famous Texas crime.
Description from Netflix.
(No video.)

~***~

Sleepy Hollow (1999) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
This is an old favorite that is included in my Halloween Movies list … which is a like a movie-a-week film festival of 13 Halloween-themed movies to be watched as we journey toward the big day. (We are only 11 weeks out from Halloween, as of today, btw, so if you want to get going on that, now’s the time.)

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.
Description from IMDb.

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Slow TV

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Not On IMDb.
I am surprised to see that “Slow TV” has come to Netflix this month. This is a strange and wonderful concept brought to us by the Norwegians. The shows (when they are at their best) are minute-by-minute, real-time recordings of a time-consuming, “normal” event or activity.

Most folks think it’s boring once you get past the novelty, but I think there’s something deeply soothing about it.  

If you want to see what you think of it, I’m going to recommend that you start with Train Ride: Bergen to Oslo, just as I did when I discovered the concept a year or so ago. (The entire recording is SEVEN hours long.) It’s utterly hypnotic. One of my favorite features of this particular piece is the tunnels … the longest of which is 13 km (8 miles) long. The recording goes almost entirely pitch black after entering a tunnel, while the sound of the train continues. Other topics include: firewood, knitting, salmon fishing, a canal trip, and additional train trips. Just enter Slow TV into the search at Netflix to see the whole selection.

Best played when you plan to read, write, knit, etc.  Be aware that the sample “clip” I’m providing below is an hour and eighteen minutes long 😀

The television program Bergensbanen minute by minute – train journey across Southern Norway was … the 7-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo along the Bergen Line. The event was planned as part of the 100 year anniversary for the existence of the Bergen Line. Four cameras were used to produce the documentary, showing both exterior and interior views, along with interviews with both crew, train conductors, historians/past workers and passengers. (I’ve yet to see one of these interviews while watching, but I assume they are in there somewhere.) The train went through 182 tunnels. The show was first broadcast on November 27, 2009, while the recording had been done earlier during summer.

The program was followed by an average of 176,000 viewers, and 1,246,000 Norwegian viewers (20% of the population) were watching the event at least once during its screening time. The event received attention in both Norwegian and foreign media, and has in relation to the Slow TV event Hurtigruta minutt for minutt, received both renewed attention and appreciation, mainly among its Norwegian followers.
Description from Wikipedia.

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Black Widow (1987) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
1987. When watching the trailer for this, I was shocked at how incredibly dated it looks and sounds. If you’re into Stranger Things on Netflix right now, this might be fun too … it’s just a bite later, but very evocative of the 80s, if from a more adult angle. Film Noir-ish.

An inquiring federal investigator becomes intrigued — then fixated — when she uncovers and unusual pattern of deaths by seemingly natural causes. Debra Winger, Teresa Russell.
Description from Netflix.

~***~

NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS:

Nothing exciting in the theaters right now, I’m afraid.

~ON TV~

All quiet on the TV front too.

 

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‘Sorry to be so short and sketchy folks. I may have missed some good stuff, but I’m eager to move on to other things now.  My Ogre took last week off, during a lull between projects, so I’m just getting back into the swing of things today. I’ve been writing a fair bit of fiction around the edges of his vacation, and I’m excited to be able to throttle up this week. I hope to be back with some additional blogs later this week too, but we’ll have to see how deep the story takes me into fictionland.

Remember, only 11 weeks until Halloween!

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

Creepy North Carolina: The Blue Devil / Organ Pipe Mud Dauber Wasp

Since moving to North Carolina from Minnesota four months ago, I’ve been extraordinarily aware of all the creepy crawlies that share my new biome. It seems like each week reveals a new species for me to contemplate. And by contemplate, I mean decide if the species in question freaks me out, or if it’s just interesting.

When it comes to the Organ Pipe Mud Dauber / Blue Devil Wasp, I’m going with interesting — even though its young-rearing behavior is … well let’s say, off-putting.

This set of NARROW tubes is a Blue Devil nest. (Narrow is this week’s Post A Week photo prompt.)

Mud Dauber nest

I came across this construction at a local park, while on a Pokemon hunting excursion, with my daughter (who has been living in NC for seven years or so.) This particular nest is attached to the underside of a park shelter’s roof, in plain sight of the picnic tables below. My daughter identified it as a “mud dauber nest” but didn’t know much beyond that. Later, after the hunt, I was compelled to hit the interwebs to find out more.

It turns out this is the home of a rather special mud dauber. (Not rare, but certainly creepy-cool.) Several species of mud dauber live in North Carolina, but only one builds a nest that resembles a pipe organ.

After reading up on  Trypoxylon politum, I now know that the big, blue-black wasp that was flying around us was the father Devil, guarding the nest. (The species is harmless to humans, and only stings people when tormented.)

I also know that those tubes were crafted by the mother Devil, who transports innumerable tiny balls of mud to the site, and painstakingly builds individual cells into which she will lay eggs. Then she stuffs each cell full of paralyzed spiders, as food to be consumed by her larval offspring. (Whimper.)

You can find more detailed information about the creature, along with other photographs, at the following links:

~***~

Find all my photographic projects at Haunting Photos (there’s also a link in the blog header.)

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Click to visit the homepage of Post A Week.

Here are some of my favorite entries for the NARROW prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back.)

A Haiku on “Narrow” | New York City Pocket Park | Jazz Alley | paths & journeys | pretties in gutters | crematorium | through the forest | butterfly from a different angle | crab spider in rose | the light | nope, nope,nope | narrow street in Prague | a reference to “Laura” | mountain goats | straws | child’s focus | boardwalk in the woods | Yellow | Annie’s Canyon | abandoned kitchen | too narrow for a wheelchair | palm tree | eye of the needle | alley in Hoi An, Vietnam | communications tower in Tasmania | a bee’s passage | American Bittern | Narrow Bridge in G Scale | in the side mirror |